Hunter Estate & Elder Law

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR OUR CLIENTS

REGARDING PRIVACY

Recently enacted federal legislation requires us to disclose to you our policies regarding privacy of client information.  We consider this an opportunity to explain to you clearly and simple where we get information about you, to whom we disclose information, and what we do to safeguard that information.

First, we want to assure you that we have always regarded the confidentiality of client information as a matter of the highest priority.  Confidentiality is fundamental to the attorney/client relationship.  That is reflected in the attorney/client privilege, which in many respects is more restrictive than the privacy requirements in the new federal legislation.  The attorney/client privilege is designed to encourage clients to disclose any information (with minor exceptions) to their attorneys without fear of it being disclosed to anyone else.

Where we obtain information about you.

Typically, you provide most of the information we obtain about you.  Other information may be obtained from independent public and private entities with your authorization or as your authorized legal representative.  Information may also be obtained from an adverse party.

Who we give information to.

If otherwise permitted by the attorney/client privilege, we will disclose personal nonpublic information about you to third parties in the following circumstances:

  • As part of or in connection with an application, report, notice, form deed, contract or

other document filed or recorded with a governmental entity or provided to another third party at your direction or with your consent.

  • When required by rules of procedure and rules of evidence in the course of litigation,

or by the rules governing any arbitration, mediation or administrative proceeding in which we represent you.

  • When required or if we believe it would be beneficial to you in dealing with parties

that have regulatory or other discretionary authority over you or your family or interest.

  • When discussing matters within the scope of our representation with other parties

that have a fiduciary or professional relationship with you involving the same matters.

  • When discussing information that is publicly available such as results of litigation,

successful or unsuccessful strategies used in the past, issues encountered in other cases, etc.  (for example, we might mention that in the Smith case we convinced the court

that . . . )

  • When determining if a conflict of interest exists or would arise if we accept your case

or another case.  In this instance, we might disclose additional identifying information if necessary to ensure that we have identified the correct parties.

  • In other circumstances when in our judgment disclosure will be in your best interests.

Please let us know about any concerns you may have about disclosures in any of the foregoing circumstances so we can get a clear mutual understanding of what disclosures will be made and what will not.  Note, however, that circumstances may arise where our representation of you cannot be kept completely confidential.  For example, if we decline to represent a party adverse to you because we have a conflict of interest, it may be clear that we represent you even if we do not specifically identify you as our client.

How we protect your information.

The requirements of the attorney/client privilege have always been your greatest assurance that information about you will be kept confidential.  We train all of our non-attorney staff members about the requirements of confidentiality.  We also hire qualified technicians to administer our computer and telephone systems and ensure that they are secure and client information is protected from public access.

Please don’t hesitate to discuss any questions or concerns you might have about our privacy policy with your attorney.  We consider this a very important matter.  Having the clearest possible understanding of your wishes will enable us to better serve your needs and develop a relationship of trust and confidence.